Child maltreatment among school children in the Kurdistan Province, Iran
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OBJECTIVE: This study examines the determinants of three types of child maltreatment: physical maltreatment, mental maltreatment, and child neglect among school children in the Kurdistan Province of Iran. The analysis examines the impact of socioeconomic, familial, demographic, and household dynamic factors on the three child maltreatment outcomes, and compares the differential impact of these factors across the three types of child maltreatment. A greater understanding of the factors associated with child maltreatment has the potential to inform public health interventions aimed at reducing specific forms of maltreatment and at identifying at risk populations. METHODS: Data were collected from 1,370 school students, age 11-18. Separate logistic models are fitted for six binary outcomes examining self-reported experiences of physical maltreatment in the home or school, mental maltreatment in the home or school, and child neglect in the home or school. RESULTS: Male children were more likely to report experiencing any kind of child maltreatment than girls. Residency in a rural area, poor parental relationships and the use of addictive substances by household members were associated with increased odds of reporting child maltreatment. Poor school performance was associated with the reporting of experiencing maltreatment at school. CONCLUSION: Each of the forms of child maltreatment is highly correlated with socioeconomic, demographic, and living condition factors. The results point to the strong influence that familial factors have in shaping a child's likelihood of reporting maltreatment. Characteristics of the mother were associated with maltreatment, but not characteristics of the father. The results highlight a number of mechanisms through which public health interventions may seek to reduce the prevalence of child maltreatment in Kurdistan; different approaches are needed to reduce child maltreatment in the home and school environments.
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